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Emergency Care

You are not alone on your orthodontic journey.  We are available to assist you with your questions about discomfort.  There are very few emergencies that require immediate assistance and it is our goal to keep your discomfort visits to our office at a minimum. Remember, certain foods can wreck havoc on your braces or appliances. The rule of thumb is to avoid those foods that are sticky, chewy and crunchy.  We highly recommend that you wear a brace friendly mouthguard while playing sports.  

Here are several ways that you can address discomfort at home, often saving you a trip to our office. If you have a pressing issue with discomfort and it is after office hours, we have a staff member on call to assist you with the problem. 

In cases where an appliance is loose or damaged, you will need to call our office to schedule a time to repair the problem. Allowing your appliance to remain damaged for an extended period of time may result in disruptions to your treatment plan.


 

General soreness

When you get your braces on, you may feel general soreness in your mouth, and teeth may be tender to biting pressures for three to five days. Stick to a soft diet until your teeth do not hurt to chewing. Irritated gums and other sore spots can be relieved by rinsing your mouth with a warm salt-water mouthwash. Dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in eight ounces of warm water, and rinse your mouth vigorously. Placing Orabase on the affected area may also help relieve discomfort; Orabase can be found in a pharmacy. If the tenderness is severe, we recommend Motrin, Advil or whatever you are normally comfortable with taking for a headache. 

The lips, cheeks, and tongue may become irritated for one to two weeks as they become accustomed to the surface of the braces. You can put wax on the brackets to provide a smooth buffer.  Take a pea sized amount of wax, ball it up between your finger and mold it onto the bracket or wire that is bothering you. 

 

Loose bracket

If your bracket or band is still attached to the wire, you should leave it in place and put wax on it if needed for comfort. If the bracket or band can be removed easily, place it in an envelope and save it to bring to your next appointment.  Call our office during business hours to see if you need to come in to have the bracket bonded back on or if you can wait until your next visit. 

 

Loose wire

If a wire is loose and poking you, it is acceptable to try to put it back in place with a pair of tweezers or needle nose pliers.  If you cannot put the wire into a comfortable position, and covering the end with wax doesn't help, as a last resort use a small, sanitized, fingernail clipper to clip the wire behind the last tooth to which it is securely fastened. If the end of the wire is still sharp place wax on it. 

 

Poking wire

Using a pencil eraser, push the poking wire down or place wax on it so that it is no longer poking.